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The Anti-RUB
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help: Drivers side front leaf spring bolt hits gas tank

My leaf spring bushings are shot so I'm going to replace them with Energy Suspension bushings. So I tried to dive into it this evening and hit a snag pretty much off the bat. I unbolted the drivers side front pivot bolt and tried to slide it out but the bolt hits the gas tank. Am I missing something or do I have to drop the gas tank to get this bolt out? There is a little taper/channel in the gas tank shell that looks like it was designed to give enough clearance to remove this bolt, but I can't get the bolt out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance...
 

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try placing a board on the gastank then using a small jack lift it the slight amount that you need. i did that when replacing on of my straps and it seemed to lift up an inch or 2.
 

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Get a new bolt and cut the old one in short pieces with a grinder or hacksaw to remove it. Install new bolt from outside of bracket.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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Discussion Starter #5
try placing a board on the gastank then using a small jack lift it the slight amount that you need. i did that when replacing on of my straps and it seemed to lift up an inch or 2.
I think I remember trying to push the tank with my hand and it didn't budge. I didn't try with jack though. The tank was full at the time. That may work. Thanks...


Get a new bolt and cut the old one in short pieces with a grinder or hacksaw to remove it. Install new bolt from outside of bracket.
While that will get the job done, it would result in a safety hazard. The bolts are installed with the head facing the tank so if I'm in an accident the bolt won't puncture the tank.
 

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If you think the bolt will puncture the the tank. Then the absolute right way is dropping the tank and replacing the bolt. And make sure to torque it to the manufactures spec.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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Discussion Starter #8
any update?
No much. It took me 8 hours over two days to get the passenger side leaf spring bushings removed & new bushings installed. Thats all the time I had available to work on the truck this weekend. Each bushing had a unique issue when trying to remove the bushing that ate more and more time. If it wasn't getting the bushing itself out, it was getting the shell out. I used a ball joint press with a bunch of adapters, a 2/3 jaw puller, air hammer & impact gun. I figured I would have been able to get both sides done in that amount of time, especially with air tools. But it didn't work out that way. I still have to tackle the drivers side which I hope to get to this coming weekend.
 

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if your replacing them just drill out the rubber and cut out the outer sleeve.. works really well for those stubborn ones. had to do the same thing with the actuall leaf bushings.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I called in sick from work on Friday to finish things up. (ummm... *cough cough*). I needed the truck for a trip this weekend.

I was able to get the bolt out by pushing up with my hand on the bottom of the fuel tank. Took some force but the plastic housing around the fuel tank flexed just enough for me to barely get the bolt out. Wasn't so easy getting it back in, though, when putting everything back together.

I took Wayward101's suggestion and drilled some holes in the front & rear bushing to relieve some of the compressive tension on the center metal tube thing. Made pressing out the bushing & center metal tube alot easier. Used an air hammer with a chisel bit to cut through the metal shell & then a hammer bit to push it the rest of the way out.

The bushing in the shackle was a PITA (like the passenger side) because I couldn't drill through the rubber due to the metal rings on the ends of the center metal tube. I didn't have an adapter for the ball joint press that would fit perfectly. But the center tube fit through the end of the press & the whole in the press lined up perfectly with the shackle bore without any adapters, so I pressed a little bit of the rubber & metal center tube into the end of the ball joint press, unwind the press, cut the exposed rubber off, and then lather, rinse, repeat until the bushing was all the way out. My impact wrench made this alot easier. Could only go about 1/4" at a time due to the taper in the end of the press. Over all, the drivers side took 8 hours again (which included dropping the spare tire & factory trailer hitch to get access to the mounting bolt for the shackle), but it seemed to go alot easier then the passenger side.

Anyway, thanks for the help... Now to replace the power steering rack mounting bushings & front/rear sway bar bushings. My work is never done... But thats why its fun... :banana2:
 

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glad to hear it worked out for you.. and yea it took me forever to do the rear bushings on the leafs.. especially bc i couldnt drop the hitch.. those things are such a pita.
 

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Help: Drivers side front leaf spring bolt hits gas tank

My leaf spring bushings are shot so I'm going to replace them with Energy Suspension bushings. So I tried to dive into it this evening and hit a snag pretty much off the bat. I unbolted the drivers side front pivot bolt and tried to slide it out but the bolt hits the gas tank. Am I missing something or do I have to drop the gas tank to get this bolt out? There is a little taper/channel in the gas tank shell that looks like it was designed to give enough clearance to remove this bolt, but I can't get the bolt out. Any ideas? Thanks in advance...
I am about to jump into the same issue
 

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just did this like a month ago on my 01. Didn't just replace bushings but replaced springs and shackles from ATS, got their "heavy duty" ones. surprisingly for 18 yo it went pretty smooth except for that front bolt. I have a lift, but my trans jack (for which I would have used to hold the tank as I took the straps off if it) was on loan at work while we wait for our new one to arrive there, didn't feel like a 70 mile round trip to the shop on a weekend when I had no other reason to go that way.....I did EVERYTHING short of pulling the tank that I could think of to try and get that front bolt out on the driver side, fail so I wound up doing as was suggested further up in the thread and cut that front bolt head off then pushed shank towards tank and cut again, then was able to push the remnant out and free the spring from the frame. Mine came with new bolts (not OE but they fit fine) only difference was the heads took a bigger socket meaning more interference trying to put bolt head in from center-out, the shank end of bolt doesn't stick out that far to the inside,
when the tank is in place, straps tight, etc, there is quite a bit of room between shank and tank.

This was where I found out (again) how much it pays to have bought my Durango from the South, it has only been exposed to a couple of Chicago winters since I had it, I was surprised at how easy everything came apart and I had no problems with bolts rusted to inner bushing sleeves, etc.....
 

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Driver's side is the worst. I lowered the truck back to the ground, than reached down, to the cup mount for the leaf on the frame. It is open in top.
Passenger front leaf spring bolt isn't bad, you can literally hold it. Driver's side is rather blocking the hand getting in there because of the e brake line. It is still possible to access the driver's sude front leaf volt, just not as easy as the passenger side front leaf bolt
 
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